This is one more in my long list of immigrant-run convenience store food stamp fraud stories. For new readers, following these scams is a side interest of mine and since no one (that I know of) is writing a blog dedicated to stories about immigrants scamming the US taxpayer (there are many more such frauds and ‘medicare/medicaid’ fraud is on the rise), I’ll keep posting some here.
I don’t even post all of the cases that arrive in my alerts. I try to focus on stories that have an extra-added angle beyond the usual EBT card trafficking. This one has a high “Mohammad coefficient” in addition to the allegedly brazen scam these guys were running.
There are many reports of this indictment, but some don’t tell the larger story. This Patch report does.
First be sure to re-visit my post of a couple of weeks ago about how David Lubell and ‘Welcoming America’ has just kicked-off its Cleveland campaign to convince residents that diversity is beautiful and they need to embrace more of it! Entrepreneurial immigrants will save the city from economic ruin, they say.
Here is the Patch story on the $780,000 rip-off of the taxpayer (as is the usual case, no mention of the immigration status or how these perps got into the US in the first place):
Three men — including a store owner from Strongsville (a Cleveland suburb)— were indicted Wednesday for an alleged decade-long conspiracy to defraud the food stamp and Women, Infants and Children programs out of more than $780,000 by trading the vouchers for cash and restricted items like beer and cigarettes, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Ahmad (“Tony”) Damra, 31, of Macedonia, his brother, Mahmoud (“Moe”) Damrah, 26, of Cleveland, and Mohammad D. Mohammad, 41, of Strongsville, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, three counts of food stamp fraud and unlawful redemption of food stamps, and one count of WIC fraud.
The incidents allegedly took place at Mohammad’s store in Cleveland.
Used Mamma to get food stamp license! Prior conviction for “aggravated arson” went unnoticed by officials until now? (Left out of the story in many of the reports).
The indictment charges that between 2002 and 2011, the three men and others defrauded the WIC and food stamp program out of more than $780,000 at the East 143rd Food Market, l3249 East 143rd Street in Cleveland, which is owned, operated and managed by Mohammad.
Mohammad obtained a food stamp license in 1997, which, except for a two-year period beginning in September 1998, remained in effect through 2004, according to the indictment.
In 2005, he obtained a food stamp license for the market using the business Rashiqa, Inc., which listed Mohammad’s mother as president. He used his mother’s name because he had a prior conviction for aggravated arson, which precluded him from getting the license himself, the document said.
Also in 2005, Mohammad obtained a WIC program authorization under Rashiqa, Inc.
The investigation revealed that the defendants used their business to exchange customer food stamps and WIC coupons for cash and other unauthorized items, including beer and cigarettes.
The men also purchased customer food stamp cards and used them at other grocery locations to purchase inventory for the market and for their own personal use, the indictment says.
Here is another version of this latest bust in Cleveland, at the Plain Dealer, where the reporter summarized the case, just two weeks ago of the bust involving brothers Saed “Sam” Wahdan, 41, and Maher “Mario” Wahdan, 42, and Nidal Jaber, 45, but doesn’t mention that they scammed you of $2 million!
Readers, I’ve been following these busts for over five years and have never seen any mainstream news outlet attempt to get to the root of how all of these immigrant ‘entrepreneurs’ got into the country, bought stores and knew how to set up these scams. Too politically incorrect I assume to make any connections?
If there are any real investigative reporters out there—click here for dozens and dozens of similar stories (I’ve done much of your research already!).